Global 5G users projected to reach 1.5B by 2024

With 5G technology expected to hit the ground running in 2020, widespread adoption of the service will follow.

Separating the hype from reality in initial 5G mobile networks and smartphones James Sanders and Karen Roby discuss the immediate future of 5G mobile networks and smartphones, and how existing equipment cannot be updated to 5G via software updates.

Data and analytics company GlobalData reported the number of global 5G subscriptions is expected to hit 1.5 billion in the next five years. The Asia-Pacific region will lead the way in 5G adoption, accounting for 954 million subscriptions by 2024, followed by North America at 254 million and Europe at 242 million. Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East  will be slower to adopt 5G. 

SEE: 5G smartphones: A guide for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

5G mobile networks, the fifth generation of mobile phone connectivity, have been a hot topic for the past few years. Marketed with the promise of high speeds and low latency, 5G networks are the next big thing in the mobile world, with 2020 being the year most cellular providers will offer the technology. 

"Currently each operator with 5G service availability only has a handful of compatible smartphones on offer and usually at the flagship tier," Malcolm Rogers, senior technology analyst at GlobalData, said in a press release. "Once 5G devices become more mainstream and competitively priced, we expect a large uptick in 5G subscription and revenue growth."

Annual mobile 5G service revenue will reach $301 billion by 2024. The Asia-Pacific region will account for $122 billion of the revenue, followed by North America at $110 billion, according to the report.

While 5G is being led by mobile handsets, it isn't only reserved for them. Driverless automobiles, virtual reality and augmented reality, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and rural broadband networks are all predicted to benefit from the more reliable connectivity, according to ZDNet in What is 5G? The business guide to next-generation wireless technology

"Players like AT&T and Verizon are looking to launch more advanced 5G based services around AR/VR, robotics, and cloud based traffic control and other services based on real-time 5G IoT analytics," Rogers added in the release. "Operators willing to innovate around 5G will be able to drive more revenue from the technology."

For more, check out Verizon pledges to bring 5G to 100 Title 1 schools for AR/VR powered curriculum on TechRepublic.

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